Contextual Content

Israel Celebrates Independence Day, Arrests Activists

On Wednesday, Israel celebrated its 64th Day of Independence. While
hundreds of thousands celebrated, the police arrested three activists for
trying to question the history of this day. Each year the Israeli organization
Zochrot organizes a discussion a symbolic peaceful action on this day to
commemorate the Nakba. Nakba in Arabic means the “Catastrophe” (of
1948) and refers to the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages,
the expulsion of two thirds of the Palestinian population from the land that
became Israel, and Israel’s refusal to allow the refugees to return. This
year, while the discussion was underway, police surrounded the building
in advance, set up a barrier and detained the activists without letting them
leave the building grounds for over two hours. One man, Yuval Halperin,
was arrested when he arrived on site and began reading out loud names
of destroyed Palestinian villages. Meanwhile, a religious nationalistic
march went by. Passersby hackled and threatened the activists, caught
inside the police barrier. They were not detained.

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